Friday, July 6, 2018

Taking a Break

Hello, Dear Friends, Life is catching up to me 
and I need to take a break. 

My summer will be full with grand-babies, 
a wedding, a trip to Italy, 
and ongoing home improvements in between. 

My blog has also had some problems with link-ups, 
updates and other issues that need to be addressed. 

So, I want to wish you a lovely summer, full of sweet 
and simple days that bring beautiful
 memories down the winding road of life. 
  I will see you in the Fall (my favorite season),
when life slows down a bit. 


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Patriotic Musings

Happy Independence Day, my dear family and friends! 

I have put a few patriotic touches in my 'kitschy kitchen'
in honor of the 4th. 

Just a few little flags..........

The kitchen is already proudly wearing her red, white and blue! 

I didn't really plan it that way, but it's working for me! :)

It has been a very cool and damp start to summer, 
 so I thought the bright colors would perk things up. 

I took down the 'Siesta Fiesta' theme, 
and now I am enjoying an 'Indoor Picnic' sort of vibe. 
The colors are so patriotic. 
I've had this painting for quite some time, 
but didn't have a place for it. 

It was very bright.......

I had almost forgotten that I had it! 

All of these things were 'orphans'; 
things I had brought home because I liked them, 
but didn't know how to use them. 

Now they are all happy together! 

The bright crochet doily belonged to my dear Mom-in-law
and created by a special friend of hers. 

You can see how bright the painting is. 

It was painted by this elegant hand.....

I found it at a flea-market
and almost passed it by. 

All the bright color makes everything so cheerful!


My Patriotic display. 

I like to find any excuse to use the 
wonderful photo holder :)

I have used it for recipes, vintage post-cards and 
it's great for family photos at birthday celebrations, too.

Scrapbook paper postcards. 

A sweet hand-made card from a dear friend. 

I haven't had a chance to do much patriotic decorating
this year, although I am very Patriotic.

My Father, Ramblin' Man's Father, 
and many, many family members have served 
in our Armed Forces, fighting for freedom.

The maternal side of my Father's family
 came to this country in the 16th century
from England during the time of the Pilgrims. 
There is a small section of Plymouth, Massachusetts, 
 named after these ancestors. 

The paternal side came from Scotland, also in the 16th 
century, and settled in Salem, Massachusetts. 
There might be a witch or two in my lineage! 

My Mother's and Ramblin' Man's Father's family 
came to this country during 
the Irish potato famine in the 1850's
and settled in South Boston. 
They were from the same county in Ireland. 
Sometimes we joke that we are distant cousins. 

Ramblin' Man's Grandmother was a Swiss orphan
who came to this country at 16 after WWI
 and had to work very hard 
for her living, as did all of our ancestor's.  

I would love to thank all of my ancestor's 
who fled chaos, poverty and tyranny 
to give themselves and their children's 
  children a chance at a better life. 

I'm sure life was not much better for them, in many ways, 
than what they left behind, 
but it is the divine spirit that moves 
our hearts and compels our souls to seek 
and defend liberty and freedom, if not 
for ourselves, but for those we leave behind. 

We usually stay home for the holiday 
because of our two dogs. 

They are big sissies. Oh, did I say that out loud?

Here comes Kai. 

I am having fun using all 
of my red, white and blue dishes, 

A light lunch. 

Fresh blueberries and cottage cheese. 

I found these sweet berry strainers last fall in the 
'end of season' sale at my local department store. 
I couldn't wait until berry season to use them. 

I have a strawberry dish, too. 

It's just me, myself and I, so I can sneak as many blueberries
as I want! :)

I found this wonderful book at Barnes and Nobles 
recently. It is full of patriotic quotes and interesting facts 
from our Founding Fathers. 

Here are a few gems......

"I would define Liberty to be a power
 to do as we would be done by" 
-John Adams- 
To J.H. Tiffany, March 31, 1819

"Liberty cannot be preserved without
 general knowledge among people"
-John Adams-
Dissertation on The Canon and Feudal Law, 1765

"Those who abuse Liberty
 when they possess it 
would abuse power 
could they obtain it"
-Thomas Paine-
To the Citizens of The United States, 1802

"Liberty is the power to do everything that does not interfere
 with the rights of others: Thus, the exercise
 of the natural rights of every individual 
has no limits save those that assure 
to other members of society 
the enjoyment of the same rights" 
-Thomas Paine-
Plan of Declaration of Rights, 1792

"Guard against the postures of pretended patriotism"
-George Washington-
Farewell Address, September 17, 1796


Happy Independence Day! 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Summer Days

The Grosbeak's are back and have been serenading 
us every evening. 

They have the most beautiful song.......
It is long and complicated with a lovely warble at the end. 
They answer each other with distant echoes,
all through the forest as the sun sets. 

On cloudy days, the sun sets golden on the hills;
sometimes the only sunshine we might see all day. 

A full moon prolongs the light show, 
that lasts well into the 10:00 hour 
here in the Pacific Northwest. 

It's only in summer that the sunset reaches 
beyond the hill that blocks the light 
for most of the year. 

Wildflowers are blooming and berries are ripening. 

Life is good for the wild things. 
A time of abundance and ease to store up 
for the winter. 

The roses and sweet William are having their day, 
causing us to linger to catch a scent, or admire a new bloom
 on our quiet evening strolls with the dogs.  

Even the succulents are blooming, 
creating their own fireworks 
for the upcoming Independence Day celebrations. 

I love these long summer days when I can linger 
over chores - taking my time in the bright early mornings
and late afternoons. 

I find time to notice little things, 
like the intricate lace and wonderful label 
as I hand-wash a new blouse. 

Or the amazing luminescence of a moth on the deck
as I work to prep the surface for painting. 

From this.......

To this. 

One board at a time. 

The weather has not been cooperative for painting, 
so I have focused on scraping and scrubbing
while I wait for the sun. 

An umbrella keeps me cool and dry. 

I've been trying to cook healthier 
and I've discovered a delicious and easy
way to make Spanish rice for summer meals. 

Oven Spanish Rice

Preheat oven 375 degrees

1 cup long-grain brown rice
2 cups boiling water
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, Mexican style
1/2 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup chopped green pepper

Mix all ingredients in an ungreased casserole. 
Cover and cook 45 minutes, 
stirring occasionally. 

So good with tacos! 

It reheats nicely, too. 

So while I wait for sunnier skies to complete my work, 

I'll just enjoy these long summer days, 
storing them up for winter. 


Monday, June 25, 2018

A Sweet June Bridal Shower

Hello, Dear Friends, Welcome to summer! 

I've missed you all!

I've been so busy in the gardens,
celebrating Father's Day,
this past weekend a sweet little Bridal Shower 
to celebrate my daughter, Jennie's upcoming wedding. 

Jennie's sweet sister, Heather (and best friend)
wanted to show her love by inviting 
a few close family and friends over for 
a little celebration for the bride-to-be. 

(She planned it all in between working and 
caring for her toddler and 5 mos. old twins!)  
She's truly amazing!
(And so is hubby!
Check out the immaculate grounds.....)

Come along and let's take a peek inside! 

Lavender and daisies blooming :)

Fuchsia baskets and potted blooms.

A boxwood wreath. 

A sweet vignette.

 Let's go inside......

'Guess how many kisses for the soon-to-be Mrs.!'

A deconstructed cake decorated with 
garden roses. 

Tasty refreshments. 

Mango Moscato wine with sparkling water and berries
fresh squeezed lemon/limeade. 

Yummy eats. 

Something for everyone, 
including berry, cheese picks.........

Olive, cheese, kielbasa 
tomato, mozzarella, basil bites

Pasta salad....
Orzo, arugula, cranberry and feta. 

Chicken salad and tomato 'flowers'
cream cheese and chive cucumber rounds. 

Cream cheese and strawberry jam 
with strawberry 'hearts'. 

The pretty seating area. 

It was a perfect June day. 
(Although there were worries - it rained the night before!)

A chair with umbrella attached for the bride-to-be
as she is 'showered' for her upcoming wedding. 

Her favorite flowers. 

A 'practice veil' rests on the back of her chair. 

Pretty bottles tinkle in the summer breeze. 

Canning jar vases. 

Burlap and lace. 

A sweet photo garland. 

Thank-you cards for guests to address. 

Bridal shower games;

'Put a Ring On It!'

Place a ring on your finger. 
If you say 'wedding' or 'bride' 
you forfeit your ring to the one who notices....
The one with the most rings at the end of the day
wins a prize! 

More fun games....

Delicately wrapped prizes. 

(Beauty products!)


The bride-to-be arrives! 

Sisters and best friends. 

Jennie and 'her girls';
Fiance' Steve's beautiful daughters. 

Let's eat! 

Precious friends and family. 

Selfie time! 

Jennie and I. 


Trying on the veil. 
The crown has a miniature bride and groom :)

Heartfelt gifts. 

Pretty and practical.

Hugs all around. 

Sisters share a special moment. 

Time for cake. 
Vanilla cream. 

A special message from a young guest 
on the playroom wall. 

Don't forget your favor! 

Thank you for sharing this special celebration
with us, Dear Friends! 

I'm so glad that you came! 


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